New pitch has given Owls a lift, says Carlos

Owls Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal
Owls Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal claims Wednesday’s state-of-the-art Hillsborough pitch has made a “big difference” to their home form.

Shortly after completing his £37.5m takeover in March, chairman Dejphon Chansiri promised to spend £1m on laying a brand new surface.

Wednesday struggled in their own backyard last season, winning just five times and scoring a meagre 16 goals.

But the old pitch was dug up over the summer and the Owls have turned Hillsborough into an intimidating place to visit this time around, with Carvalhal’s men winning six out of nine matches in all competitions on home soil.

Carvalhal told The Star: “Our pitch is fantastic now. It is very good to play football on and I have to thank the chairman for creating such a good surface.

“It has made a big difference, not just to me, but the whole team. You can’t play good football without a good pitch.”

Buoyed by their superb Capital One Cup victory over Arsenal, Wednesday resume their Championship programme this afternoon at home to a Nottingham Forest side who have gone six matches without a win.

Carvalhal, who is expected to recall Keiren Westwood and Fernando Forestieri, has spoken of the importance of the fans getting behind his team as the ninth-placed Owls aim to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches.

“The fans were amazing against Arsenal,” he admitted. “We like to play at Hillsborough and feel the atmosphere of our massive fans.

“Nottingham Forest will be a difficult match. They have a balanced team and some dangerous players; we are analysing all the details of the team and we’ll be ready to discuss the three points.”

Meanwhile, young midfielder Warren Clarke has penned his maiden pro deal, tying him to the club until 2018.